Tom Duddy

The Hiding Place

ISBN: 9781851320134

Shortlisted for the Aldeburgh Poetry Award and the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry Award

Tom Duddy’s poems have been published in Irish and British magazines and in several anthologies, including Best of Irish Poetry 2007, Best of Irish Poetry 2010 and The Forward Book of Poetry 2011. The Hiding Place was his debut collection. He died in 2012, aged 62.

If a child fell from a tree, or raved
with fever, or a father came in hurt
from the fields, I was the one who raced
down the roads to the far side of the town,
to the house by the river, glad
of the chance to pass one more time
through the high clanking gates
into the avenue that would slow me

to a crunching walk under the dark,
cher-cherking, rook-swaying canopy.
It never took more than the one
rat-a-tat-tat to bring to the door
the doctor’s wife whose briskly gentle hands
once fixed my collar as I stood in the rain.

− The Touch